David Sibbet | Collaboration Strategies
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Graphics in Denmark — A Universal LanguageI was in Copenhagen last week after VizThink, training our partner Strandgaard & Co in graphic facilitation. I was struck by how universal a language graphics has become. The fact that I don’t speak Danish meant that I was thrown back on these visual cues to make sense of what I was experiencing.

My sense of this began as we flew in over Copenhagen and I saw the long line of wind machines in the harbor. How quickly these have become icons of change!

I was able to spend a weekend exploring the old city. Here again, the ubiquitous bicycles spoke of a different culture in relation to energy. “Do people ride these in the winter?” I asked Vagn Strandgaard. “All year,” he said.

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Inventing the Future of Management: Initial InsightsI have a little distance on the amazing gathering that I facilitated recently with Gary Hamel and his MLab team called “Invent the Future of Management.” McKinsey, the strategy consulting firm, co-sponsored the event along with the London Business School, and MLab, Gary’s new non-profit venture focused on catalyzing collaboration and contribution to the field which has been his life— leadership and management of organizations, businesses in particular.

He gathered 30 leaders in management development, education, consulting, and the CEOs of Whole Foods, Gore, Ideo, Google, and HCL (one of the fastest growing IT companies in India.) His gathering question was, “Why can’t we bring as much innovation, adaptation, and engagement to our organizations as we do to our development of products and technologies?”

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As the rain and winds ripped trees down in our backyard and beside the Grove in our first serious winter storm, I left the VizThink web-conference exhilarated and thinking a lot about visual analogies and metaphors. My reflection was sparked by a question moderator Tom Crawford passed along from one of the 53 people participating. “What role does the third dimension play in your Storymaps?”

I illustrated my answer with the tablet sketch below. Let me elaborate.

Vizmetaphor_2 - Srategizing with Visual Metaphors

 

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A couple of days ago Chrissa Merron called from the OD Network to talk about the fireside chat that I and five other award winners would have at the upcoming Organization Development Network Conference in Baltimore. “I’m interested in topics and themes that might be interesting to discuss,” she said. The question challenged me. What do I think is the most important thing to be thinking about as a profession?

What jumped to mind immediately were the deep roots the ODN has in systems thinking and looking at organizations as organic, alive entities. I then mused on why the network would give The Grove the Members Award for contribution to the field. What does visualization have to do with OD? A lot, I thought.

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